Right now, there is a gold rush for creator-owned comic books. Something once seen as an anathema in the industru, or a sop to keep certain creators still doing work-for-hire comic books without whinging all the time, has now become an industry staple. With early starts from the likes of Pacific Comics, through Marvel and DC with Epic and Piranha, the launch of Image Comics and now a litany of publishers offering creator-owned series for at least one of the creators, including Boom, IDW, Dark Horse, AfterShock, Ahoy, Oni, and many more. Add to that ComiXology Originals, Webtoon, Substack, Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, Zoop, and Patreon, there are many ways for a comic book creator to get their creator-owned comic books in the stands, physical or digital.
But at the Diamond Retailer Summit last weekend, IDW publisher Nachie Marsham had an impressive goal, he wants to see 2022 relaunch IDW as the home for creators to bring their creator-owned comics. Fresh from their newly announced exclusive distribution deal with Penguin Random House, IDW has some notable creator-owned titles but they are few in number, and mostly come in from the publisher they bought, Top Shelf. But the likes of Canto, Locke & Key, and Usagi Yojimbo do bat above their weight in this regard.
IDW publisher Nachie Marsham is a former Executive Editor at Disney Publishing Worldwide and the Marvel Press imprint, as well as eight years in editorial at DC Comics and at Wizard Entertainment. And at the Diamon Retailer Summit, talked about his plans for 2022 and the expansion of IDW across the creator-owned space. Senior editor and former DC Comics Vertigo and Black Label editor Mark Doyle has been tagged with the responsibility of tripling down on that creator-owned comics space, to be the "best possible home for creators to being their own work". And he looks to partner with IDW Entertainment to help them exploit their creations in other media. He looks forward to talking in more detail about that as we get into 2022.